Vikings Now One of NFL’s Worst Teams from National Viewpoint

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The NFL’s seventh-worst team — that’s what CBS Sports claims about the current state of the Minnesota Vikings, a club with an 0-2 record through Week 2.

Vikings Now One of NFL’s Worst Teams from National Viewpoint

The Vikings lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles to start the season and now encounter a do-or-die game with the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, a franchise also possessing do-or-die stakes at 0-2.

Teams from National
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Virtually every batch of Week 3 NFL Power Rankings is low on Minnesota — that’s what happens after an 0-2 start — and CBS Sports was particularly cruel, ranking the Vikings as the 26th-best team in the sport. Sandwiched between the Las Vegas Raiders (No. 25) and Denver Broncos (No. 27), Pete Prisco explained the Vikings 26th standing, “At 0-2, they will be playing a survival game of sorts this week against the Chargers, who are also 0-2. The defense has run-game issues.”

The offense also has run-game issues, deciding to rush the rock just 26 times in two contests, the third-lowest amount in NFL history for a team in the first two games of a season.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports.

USA Today placed the Vikings two spots higher at No. 24, and Nate Davis wrote about Minnesota’s o-2 plight, “QB Kirk Cousins’ prime-time record may now be 11-19, but don’t blame Thursday’s loss on him. The Vikes were 11-0 in one-score games during the regular season last year … but are already 0-2 in 2023. Cousins to the Jets – he’s a free agent in 2024 – really makes sense if Minnesota remains on this track, which already includes a -6 turnover differential.”

A Kirk Cousins trade to the Jets is a popular NFL talker because some folks believe the Vikings will pack it in for 2023 at 0-2 and tank, despite Cousins’ carrying a no-trade clause in his contract and the Vikings general manager calling tanking “unconscionable” at the 2023 NFL Combine.

Watch for Kirk Cousins
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports. was kinder to the Vikings, plopping Kevin O’Connell’s team at No. 22. Eric Edholm opined, “In two games, the Vikings have handed off 26 times, netting a total of 69 yards, with a long run of 9 yards. According to Next Gen Stats, only 30.8 percent of those runs were deemed successful. They’ve only attempted four runs in 30 fourth-quarter plays. One, a 3-yard loss on first-and-goal from the 1. Another, a Kirk Cousins scramble. [..] Two weeks into the season, this Vikings team is flawed offensively: too dependent on throwing to Justin Jefferson, and not good enough on the ground.”

The Vikings have started seasons with an 0-3 record six times in franchise history — 1962, 1967, 2002, 2011, 2013, and 2020. The best record ever to come from a Vikings 0-3 start was three years ago in 2020, when they finished 7-9. We shall see if the team avoids the 0-3 death sentence this weekend.

Minnesota is favored by a point to defeat Los Angeles.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by